June 9th, 2008
03:25 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain incorrectly denies criticizing media's Clinton coverage


Watch Sen. McCain's comments about Sen. Clinton from last week.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. John McCain incorrectly denied this weekend that he had made a remark criticizing media coverage of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid during his election night speech near New Orleans, telling an interviewer that he was “not in the business of commenting on the press.”

But the presumptive Republican nominee had delivered the comment in question.

A Newsweek interviewer asked McCain about whether reporters had been fair to Clinton during her presidential run, pointing out that the presumptive Republican nominee had said during his Tuesday night speech that “the media hadn't recognized, or had overlooked some of the attributes that Hillary Clinton had brought to the race.”

McCain denied making the remark. “I did not [say that] - that was in prepared remarks, and I did not [say it] - I'm not in the business of commenting on the press and their coverage or not coverage,” he responded.

The Arizona senator added, “I can't change any of the coverage that I know of, except to just campaign as hard as I can and try to seek the approval of the majority of my fellow citizens. It is something that the American people will judge, and I won't complain about it and I won't praise it. I will just run my campaign and hope that the American people will make a judgment.”

But in his election night address, McCain had taken a swipe at the press. “Senator Clinton has earned great respect for her tenacity and courage,” he said. “The media often overlooked how compassionately she spoke to the concerns and dreams of millions of Americans and she deserves a lot more appreciation than she sometimes receives.” WATCH McCain's comment here.

Some of Clinton's strongest supporters have complained that she received unfair treatment from journalists during her presidential run. McCain's campaign has made a special effort to appeal to disappointed Clinton backers in the days since she ended her White House run.

CNN has asked the McCain campaign for comment.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. Texan for Progression

    The Democratic party is extremely flawed, but its prevailing focus has been, as of late, for the benefit of the common American. The Republican party has primarily focused on making the wealthy wealthier. This holds true today. Evidenced in the very campaigns of each party is the notion that the strength of the party's base, its core constituency, is what determines which party will be the last one standing over the subsequent four years. When will republicans, and defecting dems, realize that the same holds true for this nation? That the nation is only as strong as its weakest citizen. That the nation can't outsource what would otherwise be income to its citizens to other nations and substain its national economy. Americans, Dems and Repubs alike, WAKE-UP and work together!!!

    June 9, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Cynthia

    Senator McCain tends to forget too much stuff for me. Either he is a liar or something else is going on. He is always talking about the straight talk express. Makes you wonder doesn't it?

    June 9, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Dr. Joseph Akomodi

    What do you expect, the man cannot remember what he said yesterday. He is 72 years old, who should have retired and enjoy his retirement. John McCain you are not going to be the President of United States. We cherish you for your service to our Country. Happy retirement goodbye!

    June 9, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Gaet

    Plsssssss..someone tell him he is too old for the job..Retirement is the word

    June 9, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Brian

    I can no longer support John McCain. I CANNOT vote for the same person now pandering for Clinton's votes. Talk about a flip flop. I will now be voting Libertarian.

    Thank you and good riddance to the GOP

    June 9, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Alicia


    This is what happens when you get older........like the horrendous speech he gave when Obama WON the Democratic nomination. Did McBush sue his speech writer? I would have. And the copying Change, the right Change. He scared my grandson with his facial expressions.

    McBush will let us all know how he feels on women's right to choose, not voting on veterans benefits to be increased, and thinking it is the homeowners fault with the foreclosures.


    June 9, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. Ralph

    John. Do you really think that praising Hilllary will turn her supporters over to you like mindless idiots? You are going to have your head handed to you in Nov. It will be by historical margins.

    June 9, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. FactCheck

    Wow McCain has so much more experiences... we should go with experience. You know who has a lot of experience? Dick Cheney. How about Donald Rumsfeld, he has a lot too. Maybe that Ted Stevens guy so we can build a bridge to nowhere for the next 4 years.

    June 9, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI

    C'mon, guys – "incorrectly denied"? He didn't do anything "incorrectly" – he understood exactly what he was saying, and he knew what he was saying wasn't true. Those of us who don't get invited with the rest of our media buddies to attend barbecues at one of John McCain's 9 houses generally call this "a lie."

    When you guys start calling it a "lie", too, is when journalists will start earning some respect again.

    June 9, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  10. Misty

    Are we having symptoms of Alzheimers!!!

    June 9, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. skylark

    Mc Cain/Hillary=
    Sex, lies and videotape.
    Oh yes, and let us not forget: Bill scandals.(Starting in Arkansas)
    And while we are at it: Cindy stealing drugs from the poor to support her pain killer addiction. Oh yes. It is true. (She was never punished.)
    They both win the dirty laundry contest.

    June 9, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  12. Florence

    Why is McCain changing his speeches or what he believes as if he is copying from Obama? He now uses 'change', he says troops should stay in Iraq for 100 years, then he changes to 2013, and where is the Holiday tax? I am still waiting for the help? You just cannot believe he anything he says. To come out and try and get the women votes, he sounds so fake.

    June 9, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  13. Texan for Progression

    Hey Nick,

    What does America have to show for McCain's 22 YEARS of experience? In my opinion, his experience hasn't even afforded him the foresight to disalign himself from the party that has, on so many levels, tanked America in just 7 years. At least Obama is a beacon of hope, who clearly "gets it" and is providing a path to returning America to its rightful place. I'm sick to my stomach of the "experience" argument. All our politicians, on both sides of the isle, are "experienced" at is manipulation. I say no thanks to "experience", I'll have fresh and untainted instead.

    June 9, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  14. James Carville

    I was a big John McCain supporter and send money to his campaign.

    However, he is losing my support rapidly with gaffes like this.

    Confuising Shiites and Sunnis is another faux pas that is not comprehendable from a man who has a SON IN IRAQ (McCain's 19 year old son is stationed there).

    Calling Obama the "candidate of Hamas" was also in poor taste.

    John, John, John! I am a big fan and want to vote for you, but you are making it hard to do!

    Whatever happened to the "honorable campaign" you were going to run? Are you really going to go the Rove Route?

    Pundits say its the only way you'll get elected. That is too bad, because it would have been better if it was a clean win.

    June 9, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  15. Listen Up...

    Basically, I don't care what kind of coverage or non-converage she received. I was just trying to make nice with her supporters so that they can lash out at Obama and support me. By the time I send their sons and daughters off to Iran, it will be too late, I'll already be Prez. Hooray for me!

    June 9, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. Mike Birmingham, AL

    When is the last time any of you talked to a 71 year old person?

    Even if they were in good health – would you let them run the country?

    No, you wouldn't – and this is why.

    June 9, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. 1st Mrs. McCain is a HERO..

    McForgot is not capable fo running this country.. America will need to sstudy his VP choice carefully cause that is the person who will be the president.. unlesss... there is a cover-up ...like Regan...

    .......... Remember Regan ... ??

    June 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  18. noemi

    Nice Job Johnny Boy, trying to appeal to Clinton-Democrats. Your pathetic pity is not going to work; you are not a Democrat, you stand opposite of everything Democrats believe. No thank you!

    June 9, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. A CANUCK

    I doubt it......but I hope the Clintons feel SOME humiliation or remorse when all the nasty things they said about Obama....start showing up in McCains ads.....All their diatribes are now fodder for the Repulicans!

    June 9, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Michael

    No one took Clinton"s nomination from her, she lost it. The reason the press got all over her was because she accused Obama of stuff she and her campaign were guilty of. She became negative first. She lied, she mislead. Are you forgetting Mark Penn. Are you forgetting "Shame on you"? Are you forgetting how she constantly attacked Obama, making fun of him saying"The skies will open Choirs will sing"? Every vote counts? Give me a break. Clinton could care less about the voter. When she started her campaign it was all about the delegates, then her story changed and you people bought into it hook line and sinker. Lets not even bring up sniper fire. But go ahead and vote for McCain and see what happens to your right to choose. Obama and Clinton agree on 99 percent of the issues but you are so pissed off because you think this was stolen from you. How democratic is it to have a primary with only candidate? A primary where that same candidate pledged she would not participate in. You Clinton supporters who are voting for McCain are brain washed. Vote for MCain, you get what you deserve. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    June 9, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. Crush Rush

    Looselips McSame.

    June 9, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. Kim

    And HRC supporters "really" want this delusional politician in the White House???

    June 9, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. georgia

    tsk,tsk,tsk Mac.
    you're trying too hard to be something or someone else.

    June 9, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. MB

    What a fool, that's right up there with "I don't think I was in the pew during that sermon" or "I didn't vote for the Iraq war" (didn't vote period) or "William Ayers is not my friend" or "Father Pleger I have known for 20 years, but he's not my friend" or "rural blue collar voters are bitter" or "I am a Professor or, or , or, or, or,

    Are you starting to get the picture. Cnn won't post this because it doesn't fit THEIR version of events.

    June 9, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. Renee, Florida

    McCain is too funny... My co-worker calls him, "The Nutcracker"–Due to how he holds up his arms. He's so stiff.. LOL!

    June 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
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